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...Nearly 10 percent of the 2.6 million people living in the Tulare Lake Basin and Salinas Valley might be drinking nitrate-contaminated water, researchers found. And if nothing is done to stem the problem, the report warns, nearly 80 percent of residents could be at risk of health and financial problems by 2050.
High nitrate levels in drinking water are known to cause thyroid cancer, skin rashes, hair loss, birth defects and “blue baby syndrome,” a potentially fatal blood disorder in infants.
The agricultural industry, however, has maintained that it is not solely responsible because nitrates come from many sources. But, according to the UC Davis report, 96 percent of nitrate contamination comes from agriculture and only 4 percent can be traced to water treatment plants, septic systems, food processing, landscaping and other sources. While the report focused on California, nitrates in groundwater is a problem that plagues farming communities around the U.S.
A financial hit as well
In addition to health risks, tainted water will exact a growing financial toll, the report said. The researchers project that utilities and citizens in the two regions will pay $20 million to $36 million per year for water treatment and alternative supplies for the next 20 years or more.
According to the study, more than 1.3 million people in the two areas currently face increased costs as residents seek alternative sources of water and providers pass on the costs of treatment to ratepayers.
While the report focused on California, nitrates in groundwater is a problem that plagues farming communities around the U.S.
...Current contamination likely came from nitrates introduced into the soil decades ago. That means even if nitrates were dramatically reduced today, groundwater would still remain polluted for decades to come.
Daily serving of red meat raises risk of cancer, heart disease
...a new study from the highly respected researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health offers some of the best and most detailed evidence yet that a daily serving of meat can increase risk of heart disease or cancer.
...Dr. Dean Ornish, the preventive medicine guru of the San Francisco Bay area, points out that red meat is harmful not just to our bodies, but also to the planet. It takes enormous amounts of plants, requiring energy-intensive fertilizers, to fatten cattle and pigs. Ornish cites a study finding that the amount of energy required to produce a Quarter Pounder with Cheese equals burning 7 pounds of coal.
Originally posted by David134
People talk of oil, gold,and many other resources that we fight wars over.
I think the biggest thing we take for granted ( especially here in the U.S. ) is our water supply. If we dont start being better stewarts of this resource there will come a day when turning on the tap and having clean, drinkable water will be gone. Many people already use bottled water for most everything, ( even thought alot of those are just tap water from other areas ) Can you imagine having to use bottled water to drink, cook, even for a bath.
People will come out of a store complaining about 4.00$ a gallon gas, but never think a thing about the 5.00$ they just spent on two bottles of water = half a gallon. Face it, were already being primed for it.
Pollution of waterways by toxic run-offs from factories and farms is a pressing issue in China, prompting the authorities to call for policy tightening to cut heavy metal pollution, though the problem shows no sign of going away.
Cadmium levels at the Longjiang River in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Wednesday were three times the official limit, Xinhua news agency said, pointing the finger of blame at a mining company.
Excessive levels of cadmium were detected last Sunday, the news agency said, adding that the authorities had injected 80 tonnes of aluminum chloride, a neutralizing agent, into the river in a bid to eliminate the health risk.
Nearly 10 percent of the 2.6 million people living in the Tulare Lake Basin and Salinas Valley might be drinking nitrate-contaminated water, researchers found.